MaRS Discovery District launches new program for “high-growth” Canadian companies

MaRS discovery district
The program is backed by existing FedDev funding.

Canadian innovation hub MaRS Discovery District has launched a new acceleration program geared towards “high-growth” companies.

MaRS’ Growth Acceleration Program is funded in part by the $17.5 million that the hub received in 2019 from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) as part of the federal government’s Scale-Up program.

That investment also currently funds MaRS’ Momentum program, meant to support eligible firms with the potential to reach $100 million in revenue over the course of five years.

“This program will equip companies with the necessary tools of business fundamentals to optimize their growth.”
– Krista Jones, MaRS

MaRS received that funding alongside Communitech and Invest Ottawa from FedDev Ontario’s cumulative $52.4 million investment, with all three working together to implement each of their own Scale-Up programs to help later-stage companies scale.

MaRS’ considers the Growth Acceleration initiative as a “pre-Momentum program,” created to support “high-growth” companies, which MaRS describes as organizations with total funding of $10 to $20 million and/or have an annual recurring revenue of $5 to $20 million.

Other recruitment criteria includes being headquartered in Canada, having a product in market with strong customer demand, building go-to market capabilities or advance product trials with input from key partners, and operating in one of the four sectors that MaRS supports which are cleantech, health, fintech, or enterprise software.

“Given the state of today’s economic environment, supporting Canadian ventures has never been more crucial,” said Krista Jones, chief delivery officer of the ventures and ecosystems group at MaRS. “This program will equip companies with the necessary tools of business fundamentals to optimize their growth inside whatever market conditions come their way.”

RELATED: MaRS officially launches program developed using federal Scale-Up Platform funding

According to MaRS, the program is aimed at supporting Canadian companies on their revenue growth, talent development, as well as sales and marketing by providing expert advisory, data tools, and “community building opportunities.”

The Growth Acceleration Program is not cohort-based. MaRS said it will work with the participants based on their priorities and timeline. Among the participating members of this initiative is Montréal-based Sollum Technologies, which provides smart lighting solutions to greenhouse growers.

Dennis Ensing, chief venture advisor and vice president of venture growth at MaRS, told BetaKit that the Growth Acceleration Program aims to support 30 ventures in the upcoming fiscal year, with six companies currently in its portfolio.

Featured image courtesy MaRS.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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